Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past few years, you know that Kr8vn8vs is staging itself to be one of Louisville’s premier hip hop labels. One thing about the N8vs, they never stop working. Q-Mystik and Furious Floyd’s The Ghetto Gospel marks the third release from the label since November. Although this album was released on a Wednesday, I think it will hit hardest when listened to on a lazy Sunday after you’ve heard a good word. So lean back, pull up a chair and check out The Ghetto Gospel by Furious Floyd and Q-Mystik.
First off, the music for this five song EP is suburb. Q-Mystik handled all the production for this project, and he chopped these samples to perfection. I don’t know how Q-Mystik chose the Gospel samples for each song, but they fit the mood of each song perfectly. From the marketing to the rollout of this project, the emcees make it plain that this isn’t your mother’s Gospel music. These two are making music for the person sitting in the back row of the pew, and that is made plain from start to finish with this project.
Church and organized religion are no strangers to being the subject matter within hip hop. Hip hop in its fifty years of existence has long spoken to the inconsistencies of structures that were made to help people but have instead oppressed those they were designed to serve. On “Sunday Crusin’” the two emcees take the listener on a ride through their lives and minds. Floyd and Mystik trade bars about the inability to wait on the ironically titled “Wait.” The two wax poetic over a sampled “Wait On The Lord” as they explain their inability to wait on a divine being as both life and these bills are coming at them fast. This song speaks to a tension that many of us may feel, and the juxtaposition of their need to keep things moving over the soft crooning of waiting on The Lord make this a song that is definitely worth revisiting. I can see why they choose to break this single first and use it to tease the message of what Q-Mystik and Furious Floyd were going to bring to their congregation.
The standout song to me that encapsulates the entire project is “Backslide.” The term speaks to someone who has either walked away from their faith or has slidden back into their old habits that accompanied them before their commitment to their religious worldview. Within three minutes and six seconds, Furious Floyd walks us through his good and bad experiences with church folks. While most just talk about the bad the Church has done, Floyd also highlights some good things the church has done for him, but he still has issues. He saw the switch up of how his mother was treated when she was pregnant to how the church loved his sister after she was born. He also remembers how some folks baked cakes for him and his brother for their birthdays. The stand out line for me was, “Volunteers run the service under half price/ all that money untaxed and you still won’t pay for your staff right.” I almost cussed when I heard that, and I had to run that back two more times. This line not only applies to churches but any non-profit organization, pay attention to how your favorite non-profits are staffed and how they are paid. Ask questions about where the money is going and then see if the impact matches up to what you’ve been told.
If this project offends you, then I submit that you weren’t really listening. Listen to the project, clutch your pearls, take away your presuppositions, and go listen again. Q and Floyd never blaspheme God, the issue they (and others) have is with His followers. Mystik saying Christians are wildly inconsistent is something that everybody says and knows. “If ya’ll rolling with the Holy Father, then I’m a bastardized child” hits hard as it should. Q-Mystik is saying he’d rather be on his lonesome rather than be with inconsistent followers of God, and as a listener you have to sit with that. These two have made it abundantly clear that this isn’t your grandma’s Gospel music; this is specifically for those on the back pew of the church. This is hip hop at its essence, a well put together message over skillfully crafted instrumentals. Maybe it’s for you and maybe it’s not. Either way, Q-Mystik and Furious Floyd are on the street corner preaching “The Ghetto Gospel.”
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